Among the many familiar names called when the 2004 CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards nominations were announced Wednesday (March 24), there was one underdog -- and his name was Jake.
One of country music's most fetching blonds, the canine proved to be a fan favorite by catching a nomination for cameo of the year for his role in owner Dierks Bentley's "What Was I Thinkin'." The video also earned Bentley a nomination in the breakthrough video category, and Peter Zavadil took a video director nomination.
Joe Don Rooney's derriere cracked the cameo category, as well, for Rascal Flatts' "I Melt." The seductive production also earned a nomination as the hottest video of the year and for group-duo video of the year.
"I Melt" might also be nominated for video of the year, although the four finalists won't be announced until April 21 when the awards show is broadcast live from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Although the four finalists have already been determined, the eight semifinalists were reviewed at Wednesday's press conference. Viewers may vote for the four finalists during the show, and the winner will be revealed in the closing moments.
Other semifinalists for video of the year include Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett's "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," Brad Paisley's "Celebrity," Keith Urban's "You'll Think of Me," Shania Twain's "Forever and For Always," Toby Keith's "American Soldier" and Keith and Willie Nelson's "Beer for My Horses."
Keith corralled two additional nominations. "American Soldier" captured a male video nod, and "Beer for My Horses" earned a collaborative video mention. The latter also earned Michael Salomon a director nomination. Morgan Lawley (Gary Allan's "Songs About Rain") and Sam Erickson (Urban's "You'll Think of Me") also earned director nominations.
Alison Krauss was the only woman to score a nomination outside of the female video category. Her duet with James Taylor, "How's the World Treating You," landed in the collaborative video category. In addition to "Beer for My Horses," the category's other nominees include "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" and Marty Stuart and Merle Haggard's "Farmer's Blues."
In addition to Keith, male video nominees include Trace Adkins ("Hot Mama"), Kenny Chesney ("There Goes My Life") and Jackson ("Remember When"). Female video nominees include Sara Evans ("Perfect"), Martina McBride ("This One's for the Girls"), Reba McEntire ("I'm Gonna Take That Mountain") and Twain ("Forever and For Always").
Evans announced the nominees at Vanderbilt's Stadium Club. Asked about the show, she told CMT News, "It's all about videos, which is a really, really important part of what we do, and it's one of my favorite things to do. We're shooting a video next week, in fact."
In addition to Rascal Flatts, the group-duo nominees include Brooks & Dunn ("You Can't Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl"), Lonestar ("My Front Porch Looking In"), and Montgomery Gentry ("Hell Yeah"). Bentley joins Buddy Jewell ("Sweet Southern Comfort"), Josh Turner ("Long Black Train") and Jimmy Wayne ("I Love You This Much") in the breakthrough video category. In addition to Rascal Flatts, contenders in the hottest video category include Chesney ("No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems"), Tim McGraw ("Real Good Man/The Ride") and Urban ("Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me").
Hearing about his nomination, Urban said, "This is awesome! I am especially moved when it is a fan-voted award, and I am humbled by the nomination."
"It's cool to be nominated for a Flame Worthy award," McBride said, responding to her female video nomination. "CMT has always been very important to my career, and this is such a fun awards show. I'm looking forward to the big night."
Chris Cagle's pals, Motocross rider Kenny Bartram and BMX rider Kevin Robinson, helped "Chicks Dig It" earn a nomination in the cameo category. Paisley's "Celebrity -- with a cast of Jason Alexander, Jim Belushi, Little Jimmy Dickens, Trista Rehn and William Shatner -- also made the final cut in the cameo category.
As previously announced, Dolly Parton will host the 2004 CMT Flame Worthy Video Music Awards. Also scheduled to appear: Sheryl Crow, Alison Krauss & Union Station, McBride, Rascal Flatts, Twain and Urban.